Home Knowledge A Milestone Week for Renewable Energy in Ireland

A Milestone Week for Renewable Energy in Ireland

Last week marked a significant milestone in Ireland’s journey towards a sustainable future with the publication of a series of key documents by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

These include:

  1. the final Terms and Conditions for the Fourth Competition under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (the RESS 4 Terms & Conditions);
  2. the draft Terms and Conditions on the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme 2.1 auction (the Draft ORESS 2.1 Auction Terms & Conditions);
  3. the draft South Coast Designated Maritime Area Plan for Offshore Renewable Energy (the Draft South Coast DMAP); and
  4. the Future Framework for Offshore Renewable Energy (the ORE Future Framework).


The Short-Term: Ireland’s Next Onshore Renewable Auction

The RESS 4 Terms & Conditions

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme provides support to onshore renewable electricity projects in Ireland. RESS 4 will be the fourth auction held under that scheme. In tandem with the publication of the RESS 4 Terms & Conditions by DECC, the Transmission System Operator, EirGrid, also published the final RESS 4 Auction Timetable. The RESS 4 Terms & Conditions are available here, while the final RESS 4 Auction Timetable can be accessed here, through EirGrid’s website. The key dates for the RESS 4 auction include:

Event Date & Time
Qualification application opening date10:00 on 20 May 2024
Qualification application closing date17:00 on 4 June 2024
Provisional qualification decision date4 July 2024
Final application withdrawal date8 July 2024
Final qualification decision date26 July 2024
Bidding window opening date10:00 on 22 August 2024
Bidding window closing date12:00 on 28 August 2024
Provisional auction results date9 September 2024
Final auction results date25 September 2024
Notice of award date2 October 2024


The Medium- and Long-Term: Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Energy Future

Draft ORESS 2.1 Auction Terms & Conditions

The draft terms and conditions for Ireland’s second offshore wind energy auction, ORESS 2.1, were published on Friday, 3 May. ORESS 2.1 will be the first auction to take place under the Government plan-led Phase Two Offshore Wind policy (which was approved by Government in March 2023) for offshore wind development in Ireland. ORESS 2.1 will procure up to 900 MWs of capacity from a State-selected provisional designated area known as a Designated Maritime Area Plan off Ireland’s south coast. The Draft ORESS 2.1 Auction Terms & Conditions are open to consultation now and can be found here, on DECC’s website. The consultation closes on Friday, 7 June.

Draft South Coast DMAP

To coincide with the publication of the Draft ORESS 2.1 Auction Terms & Conditions, DECC has opened a consultation on its Draft South Coast DMAP. A significant part of Phase Two Offshore Wind Development in Ireland is the movement to a set regime whereby Phase Two auctions will exclusively procure a set volume of offshore wind capacity for development within individual Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Designated Areas, which will be designated according to legislative provisions for DMAPs.

The Draft South Coast DMAP is the first ever forward spatial plan for renewable energy on land or at sea prepared by the State. It identifies four proposed areas off the south coast for fixed offshore wind projects. The Draft South Coast DMAP proposes that a first offshore wind project with a capacity of approximately 900MW will take place in one of the four proposed areas ‘Tonn Nua’ (an area off the coast of County Waterford encompassing over 300km2) and will aim for deployment by 2030. It further proposes that over the next decade, further offshore wind projects will be developed in the areas of ‘Lí Ban’, also off the coast of County Waterford, and ‘Manannán’ and ‘Danu’ – both off the south coast of County Wexford.

The Draft South Coast DMAP is available on DECC’s website here. The Draft South Coast DMAP and accompanying environmental assessments will now undergo a six-week statutory public consultation period remaining open for 6 weeks until 14 June 2024.

ORE Future Framework

The ORE Future Framework is intended to outline Ireland’s long-term ambitions of delivering 20GW of offshore wind by 2040 and 37GW by 2050 (in accordance with Ireland’s agreed North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) targets). The ORE Future Framework sets out a roadmap of defined objectives for how that goal will be achieved, including 29 key actions to develop Ireland’s approach to offshore wind. The publication also explores the export of excess renewable energy through increased interconnection, as well as through alternative energy products.

The ORE Future Framework was published on Wednesday, 1 May, and is available here on DECC’s website. It is one of the key actions published under the Offshore Wind Energy Programme, the system-wide plan developed by the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.


With the publication of the Draft ORESS 2.1 Auction Terms & Conditions; the Draft South Coast DMAP; and the ORE Future Framework, the Irish Government has taken an important step towards providing the necessary certainty and predictability around Ireland’s offshore renewable energy regulatory regime for the medium- and long-term to further its ambitious goals in the area.

In addition, the publication of the RESS 4 Terms & Conditions represents another important step along Ireland’s journey towards developing a healthy mix of renewable electricity sources in the State and will provide important assistance for the country to meet the targets set out in its second carbon budget covering the period of 2026 to 2030.

Contributed by James Curtis and David O’Shea